I've been putting together Lucy's yearbook, a little photobook with pictures from the past year of her life, and I came to a realization. I'm rarely in the picture. Sure I'm in the kids lives almost constantly, but if you looked at the photo evidence I seem to be missing. Browsing all of the pictures in this last year you see a happy daddy, grandma's and grandpa's, even uncles and aunts with the kids. Who you don't see is the person taking the picture: me.
I noticed I only have two pictures of my little family all together. One of those is from Halloween and you can't really tell it's us. The other is our Christmas photo. That's it. Those two photos are the only family picture I have.
I have tried to get more pictures of me with the kids but most of those are just terrible quality front facing cell phone camera pictures with a screaming or squirming kid. I cherish the few decent photos I have of me and my kids.
It's a problem a lot of moms have. Somehow we seem to get designated as the family photographer. I guess chef, maid, doctor, and negotiator weren't enough. We dutifully document every smile, birthday, holiday and happy moment. Only to exclude ourselves from the picture.
I love pictures because they bring back happy memories. I look through my pictures often and enjoy the happy times. I know one day I may not be fortunate enough to remember all of the happy moments. I may not be fortunate enough to tell my children and grandchildren about holidays and birthdays and fun trips but at least I could show them.
Of course the memories in our heads are the most important, and my kids will hopefully have happy memories of birthdays, holidays and summers spent together. The time I spend with them is far more important than photos documenting it. Still a part of me is sad they will one day look through the pictures of them as babies and perhaps wonder why mom isn't in them.